Urban Gardening: How To Grow Your Own Organic Fruits, Vegetables Or Herbs

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bowl-of-fresh-vegetables-by-John-Mason.jpg Have you started gardening for groceries yet?

A Bankrate article suggests that if you plant a garden, you will harvest savings. 

People used to go to places like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and garden centers asking for flowers, but these days people are asking for fruit and vegetable plants. 
Source: a TV news report

It sounds like an excellent idea and I am actually quite intrigued.  I am also very afraid.  I have never grown anything edible in my life. 

So what does an amateur who wants to harvest a few fruits and vegetables for the first time do? 

Actually, I did manage to harvest a few chives a couple of summers ago in a pot on the deck, but the output was quite pitiful.  Add to that the fact that I hate bugs, and worms, and dirt, and ants, and well, most outside things. 

If you can’t already tell, the idea of gardening for my own produce is quite scary.

I have been researching how you make a produce garden, and I’ve finally decided to give it a try. 

I am by no means planning to make a full garden this summer, but I am going to give tomatoes and strawberries a try. 

tomato-plant-suzanne100.jpg  wild-stawberries-by-juhabee.jpg

Due to the fact that I don’t want to go digging in the ground, I’m taking advice from this article on balcony gardening and I’ve ordered a container for growing upside down tomatoes

How To Start
To plant your own garden this summer (and save money on produce), check out these instructions on how to start a penny-pinching garden. Following the Penny-Pinching Grandma’s instructions, I have outlined my plan for this year. 

My goals:

Start small.  Considering the fact that I have no idea what I am doing, it makes no sense to do it on a grand scale.

Use containers if you have limited space. While I do have space, I do not want to use it for gardening.  I plant to garden instead from the safety of my deck utilizing the underside of the stairs to hang my upside-down tomato and strawberry plants. 

Get your soil PH correct.  I will purchase ready-mixed dirt for gardening. 

Fertilize your garden.  These items are also available at the local gardening center. 

Protect your plants.  We are well past the frost season, but I do worry about bugs.  I will keep a vigilant eye out for bugs.  I plan to use natural pesticides when needed.

Add water.  This is where I have gone wrong in the past many times with regular houseplants.  I fear this will be the hardest part of the job.

Share With A Neighbor
If you feel that gardening is not really your thing, then consider getting some of your produce from your next-door neighbor’s garden instead.  Some ideas:

    • Perhaps you have something else they would be willing to trade you produce for. 

    • You could also purchase meat wholesale (or buy a side of beef) and trade your neighbor meat for produce. 

    • Maybe you will have some items left over from warehouse shopping that you could trade for produce.

    • You could babysit your neighbor’s kids in exchange for a bushel of strawberries or fresh vegetables.

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